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  1. #1
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    Default Guitar Ordering Hell

    Where do you guys get your guitar? What's your process?

    I did research and found the make and model I want. I decided on a Jackson Kelly. I looked up Jackson's website and authorized dealers. The only one listed was Guitar Center here in Austin, TX. So, I go down to the store. The only guitars on their shelves are all the cheap $99 - $300 guitars. I have to order the Kelly online. So, I give the guy my credit card and patiently wait a week.

    I go down to the shop all excited to get my new guitar and play with it over the weekend. The store employee pulls it out of the shipping box and I ask him to let me inspect it. It wasn't even setup, so I ask him for some alan wrench and spend 30 minutes setting it up and another 30 playing it. I find that it has a bad fret that buzzes. He hands it off to their guitar tech, telling me that they are doing me a favor and usually charge $70 to setup a guitar. I respond, "Well, I usually buy guitars that work..." After waiting an hour, they come back to me and tell me the fret is bad. I'll have to order a new one. They offer to let me take that one home while I wait, but then prompt me for another $750, to which I decline.

    I anxiously wait another week, not as excited, because I half way expect something to go wrong. Sure enough, I go to the store again. They take it out of the box when I arrive. I immediately notice the guitar is filthy dirty. I ask them for some polish and a polish rag...and of course some alan wrenches. It isn't even tuned, the strings are just hanging off. After polishing I notice several scratches and scuffs. The back plate looks like a wood pecker got a hold of it. Not only that, but I find another bad fret.

    I tell them to refund my money. So, two weeks waiting and 5 hours at the store and I've got nothing.

    I am hesitant to order another one. I don't know if it is Guitar Center or Jackson who has the crap shipping and low quality control. I was also looking at A Schecter Banshee online, but would have to try it hands on. It seems like any guitar over $500 is going to require online ordering. All of these manufacturer sites list Guitar Center only for 200 square miles. You'd think being in "The music capital" here in Austin TX, there would be more options.

    If I amazon, ebay, etc. I imagine it would be even more of a hassle if I get one that's flawed.

    What should I do?

  2. #2
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    Apr 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleshbits View Post
    Where do you guys get your guitar? What's your process?

    I did research and found the make and model I want. I decided on a Jackson Kelly. I looked up Jackson's website and authorized dealers. The only one listed was Guitar Center here in Austin, TX. So, I go down to the store. The only guitars on their shelves are all the cheap $99 - $300 guitars. I have to order the Kelly online. So, I give the guy my credit card and patiently wait a week.

    I go down to the shop all excited to get my new guitar and play with it over the weekend. The store employee pulls it out of the shipping box and I ask him to let me inspect it. It wasn't even setup, so I ask him for some alan wrench and spend 30 minutes setting it up and another 30 playing it. I find that it has a bad fret that buzzes. He hands it off to their guitar tech, telling me that they are doing me a favor and usually charge $70 to setup a guitar. I respond, "Well, I usually buy guitars that work..." After waiting an hour, they come back to me and tell me the fret is bad. I'll have to order a new one. They offer to let me take that one home while I wait, but then prompt me for another $750, to which I decline.

    I anxiously wait another week, not as excited, because I half way expect something to go wrong. Sure enough, I go to the store again. They take it out of the box when I arrive. I immediately notice the guitar is filthy dirty. I ask them for some polish and a polish rag...and of course some alan wrenches. It isn't even tuned, the strings are just hanging off. After polishing I notice several scratches and scuffs. The back plate looks like a wood pecker got a hold of it. Not only that, but I find another bad fret.

    I tell them to refund my money. So, two weeks waiting and 5 hours at the store and I've got nothing.

    I am hesitant to order another one. I don't know if it is Guitar Center or Jackson who has the crap shipping and low quality control. I was also looking at A Schecter Banshee online, but would have to try it hands on. It seems like any guitar over $500 is going to require online ordering. All of these manufacturer sites list Guitar Center only for 200 square miles. You'd think being in "The music capital" here in Austin TX, there would be more options.

    If I amazon, ebay, etc. I imagine it would be even more of a hassle if I get one that's flawed.

    What should I do?
    I have had good results from the Music Center here in Wisconsin. I understand they have other locations all over. You might try them. Our customer service has been top notch. They not only set up both of my guitars, but told me to bring them back a month later so they can check it again for me. I don't know where you live, but here's the link to see if you have one near you.

    http://www.musiccenterinc.com/

  3. #3
    Premium Member 72GoldTop's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Default

    .....and don't go thru Carvin if you can avoid it...

  4. #4
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    Feb 2014
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    I have two guitars, an Epi SG 400 pro and Seagull Original S6. I have been playing for about 1.5 years so I don't have an extensive background in purchasing although I did a lot of research when I made these purchases. The first one was the Epi. At the time I was very inexperienced. I found that Guitar Center on Long Island was too "salesmanee" and didn't work with me to find the right fit. Then I went online and decided on Sweetwater.com. I was extremely happy with the purchase. I actually had a phone conversation with one of their "engineers" that lasted almost two hours. He asked me a bunch of questions and walked me through the website. When the guitar was delivered it was perfect. They take all guitars out of the box and go through an extensive setup and inspection where they tweek all over the place. I buy almost everything from Sweetwater now.

    The second purchase was the Seagull. Sweetwater didn't sell Seagulls at the time but they do now. I bought it at Guitar Center. I first purchased a cheaper Fender acoustic. I took it home and hated it. The salesman really didn't help me. He just showed me guitars in my price range. I had to order the S6 because they ran out. It came a week later and he gave it to me with the box intact. They don't open boxes in the store unless you ask to see the guitar. They do no adjustments for free unless you make a stink. I am real happy with the guitar but I feel like I lucked out.

    I know that the way to correctly buy is to try out and feel the guitar you will purchase. But I am happy with my method.

  5. #5
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    I usually don't order gutiars becuase I don't like to commit to an instrument unless I can actually play it. But like you said the local stores usally don't care anything high end except Gibson and Fender, which makes sense based on what they can actually sell. But when I do order online SweetWater all the way. My most recent gutiar came from there and it was a "factory second" which was in near pefect tune after being shipped across the country and not a scratch on it. I did find out the "factory second" part was becuase it had 2 high frets on it. I honestly don't think it's possible to get a guitar anymore with correct fretwork. I found a local luither that is excellent and any new guitar I get goes to him for setup and fix of any fretwork problems. Forget the "fix it" guys in the big box stores, they may be good people but most of them don't have the skill level of the independant. Find a local guitar luither, ask for references, and take him a old or cheaper guitar for setup. Then you can see how good they are. If they are really good then stick with them. The nice thing is after they do a couple guitars for you they will generally know how you like them setup to boot.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
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    I never buy online, too many possibles. This is not only because of the online shops. Many of these are big stores such as Sweetwater. Like every store they deal in volume, don't open every box and may have it shipped to you direct from the manufacturer. They may never even see the guitar you order and don't have to stock it. Next issue is the shipping. Shippers throw stuff around because they are in a hurry, plus, they fly them around and who knows what altitude can do. Who do you see to correct any of these. At least when you use a store you get to look at the guitar before taking it home and having to ship it back on your own.
    Last edited by chuckw; 05-07-2015 at 04:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Premium Member crosstour's Avatar
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    I've had good luck ordering new guitars online from Sweetwater and Musician's Friend (which is odd because apparently Musician's Friend is owned by Guitar Center about which I've heard many horror stories). I've even bought two used guitars online from MF and they were exactly as advertised. I've purchased Squier, Fender, Gibson and Yamaha guitars this way, in fact all my guitars were online purchases. I do take each one to a local guitar tech for a setup, paying about $50 bucks per.

  8. #8
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    You said that Austin doesn't have a lot of good music stores? My brother is moving there and I was curious if he'd have a large pool of good local guitar stores to help set his guitar

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by palico View Post
    I usually don't order gutiars becuase I don't like to commit to an instrument unless I can actually play it. But like you said the local stores usally don't care anything high end except Gibson and Fender, which makes sense based on what they can actually sell. But when I do order online SweetWater all the way. My most recent gutiar came from there and it was a "factory second" which was in near pefect tune after being shipped across the country and not a scratch on it. I did find out the "factory second" part was becuase it had 2 high frets on it. I honestly don't think it's possible to get a guitar anymore with correct fretwork. I found a local luither that is excellent and any new guitar I get goes to him for setup and fix of any fretwork problems. Forget the "fix it" guys in the big box stores, they may be good people but most of them don't have the skill level of the independant. Find a local guitar luither, ask for references, and take him a old or cheaper guitar for setup. Then you can see how good they are. If they are really good then stick with them. The nice thing is after they do a couple guitars for you they will generally know how you like them setup to boot.
    There are a few guitar repair shops around town advertising re-fretting and such. Is it really that bad these days that one should expect fretwork on a new guitar?
    If so, I can always keep ordering until a fret is the only problem and then tell them I want $100 for fret work. You can only do that a couple times though before the fretboard needs more serious overhauling though, no? My last guitar was in the 80s and I haven't had much experience beyond being a giddy teenager taking something off the shelf in a pawn shop.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuelpark View Post
    You said that Austin doesn't have a lot of good music stores? My brother is moving there and I was curious if he'd have a large pool of good local guitar stores to help set his guitar
    There seems to be a good quantity of repair and custom work type shops. Not so many to actually by a guitar from. Pawn shops are plentiful too, but the only location to get a new Jackson, B.C Rish, ESP, Ibanez, etc. from is Guitar Center. They seem to have pushed everyone else out of business.

 

 

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